Water schemes – Water Sure (England) and Water Sure Wales


Water schemes – Water Sure (England) and Water Sure Wales

If you are struggling to pay water bills, find out about the various schemes and grants that may be available to help towards the cost of water.

Water Sure (England) and Water Sure Wales

If you live in England or Wales, are on certain benefits, have a water meter and use a lot of water because you either  have a medical condition or three or more children aged under 19 for whom you claim Child Benefit, you may be able to get help from the Water Sure scheme.

People who meet the criteria for help under these initiatives can have their water bill capped at the amount of the average household water bill for their water company (in some cases less). For some customers, being accepted for the Water Sure scheme can more than halve the amount that they have to pay.

Who is eligible for Water Sure?

To qualify for help, you have to live in England or Wales and be getting at least one of the following benefits:

(except families getting the family element only)

In addition, you have to be:

entitled to receive Child Benefit for three or more children under the age of nineteen who live with you, or
diagnosed as having, or have someone living with you who has one of the following medical conditions:

  • Desquamation (flaky skin disease)
  • Incontinence
  • Abdominal stoma
  • Eczema, psoriasis or varicose ulceration (weeping skin disease)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Renal failure requiring dialysis at home (unless the health authority contributes to the cost of water consumed in the dialysis process)
  • Any other medical condition that requires the use of significant additional water and can be supported with a doctor’s certificate.

You do not qualify for the scheme if you:

  • Water your garden with a non-hand-held appliance, such as a sprinkler or domestic irrigation system
  • Have an auto-fill swimming pool or pond with a capacity of over 10,000 litres.

How do I apply?

You need to contact your local water company for further information and details of the application process.

If you don’t know the details of your local water company, the Consumer Council for Water, which represents the interests of water consumers across England and Wales, has a list of water companies on its website.

Once accepted for either scheme, you qualify until your circumstances change and you no longer require help. However, you will have to reapply or confirm that you remain eligible every 12 months. Your water company should remind you to do this.

It is worth contacting your local water company, even if you think you might not be eligible for the WaterSure Scheme or Welsh Water Assist, as they may be able to offer you a more flexible payment option or other help.


Water companies (England and Wales)

Social tariffs (England and Wales)

Many water companies also have now introduced social tariffs which can offer reduced bills to customers who would otherwise struggle to pay. Schemes can differ in terms of who is eligible for help and what assistance is provided.

The Consumer Council for Water website includes details of all the schemes which are currently available and how to apply in England and Wales

Other help

Many water companies offer schemes and/or have charitable trusts to help household customers with genuine reasons for being in debt or struggling to pay their water bills.
These include:

You would need to contact your water company to find out what it offers. See country specific information below.

England and Wales

The Consumer Council for Water website has details of water companies

Ofwat, the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales, has information on its website about Customer assistance for vulnerable water consumers in England and Wales

Water UK has information on affordability and water

Citizens Advice water supply information (England) and Citizens Advice water supply information (Wales)


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